The Gate to Lika
Travelling south from Zagreb and after having passed the tunnel Mala Kapela, the first place for turning into the Lika region is Brinje. The old road that connected Lika and Gacka with the sea across Vratnik and onto Senj has now become an attractive road for those who come to this area for the first time. For those who have been using this road for years, it could be a reminder of time gone by when the rhythm of life was at a much slower pace.
Brinje is first mentioned in 1343 as „Brigna“, and the second time on June 18 of the same year as „Bregne“. It is considered that the name derives from the chakavian local dialect „brnja“, i.e. simple juniper tree that grows there. The second explanation can be derived from the local dialect „brinia“, which means exaltation, also a characteristic of the Brinje region landscape. Remains of the old town of Sokolac (hill-fort) can be seen on top of the hill in the center of Brinje. It was founded at the beginning of the 15th cent. by Nicholas IV Frankopan as the residence of this noble family. The three-floor chapel of the Holy Trinity with vaults and Frankopan coat of arms is one of the most important Gothic monuments in Croatia.
Did you know?
Historians agree that it is difficult to establish the exact source of when and how the name Sokolac came to be used. One of the stories starts with the wedding of Nicholas IV with Dorothy Gorjanski, when, on the eve of the wedding, Nicholas sent a present to Venice – a horse and falcon (sokol) and goes by saying that when man left the town, falcons made their nests high up in the sky and this inspired histroians and people to call the town by this name.
The Holy Trinity Chapel in Sokolovac is a worldwide cultural heritage monument and one of the most beautiful medieval monuments in all of Craotia.
St Fabian and Sebastian Chapel is a protected worldwide cultural heritage monument and one of the oldest sacral buildings in the Brinje municipality area. The building is late Romanesque style of sacral constructions dating from the 14th cent.
The parish church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary was built by the well-known defender and liberator of Lika from the Ottomans, the priest Marko Mesić, born in Brinje, around the year 1700 on the remains of the older monastery church of St. Mary dating from 1476.
The church of St. Vid dates from the 14th cent. and is one of the oldest sacral buildings in Brinje.
On the Josephine Road, in the very center of Brinje, there is a stone bridge across the 200-year-old Gate Jaruga stream. The bridge was built in 1801 and is a work of the industrious hands of the coastal and Brinje builders and stone-carvers . There is a sundial on the bridge that got a stone sphere for reconstruction.
A bronze monument to the Brinje miner is a work of the academic sculptor Koste Angelija Radovanija. The miners from Brinje are well-known as builders of many rods and tunnels throughout Europe, breaking tunnels from Tierra del Fuego to Siberia and therefore famous throughout the world.
– angling on Brodić Lake where there is a Hunter’s Home
– strolling in the locality and surroundings
– for cavers– abysmal Cave Rokina and Cave Siničić near Letinca village from the neolithic period as an important and unique archeological prehistorical site. The paleolithic hunter lived here 9500 years before Christ and left some pictures on the rock face of the cave that have not been solved until this day.
What to See
Brinje – a view from the town Sokolac
The church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary built around 1700.
The stone bridge across Gate Jaruga built in 1801.
Restaurant VICTORIA, Brinje, Frankopanska 3
tel.: +385 (0)53 700-746, mob: +385 (0)98 245-173
Where to stay
There is no hotel accommodation in Brinje. Information on private accommodation is available at the Brinje Tourist Office
Brinje Tourist Office
Frankopanska 33, 53260 Brinje
tel.: +385 (0)53 701 260, 701 409
faks: +385 (0)53 701 210
Brinje Homeland Club